Students at Holy Spirit Primary school at Carnes Hill have kept the fun of National Book Week alive during the current COVID-19 lockdown by dressing up as their favourite book characters and sharing photos with fellow students and staff.
The Children’s Book Council of Australia has organised a National Book Week every year since 1945 in an effort to encourage reading in primary schools, by making it fun and engaging, in turn leading to more engaged learners and better literacy outcomes.
This year’s event was held from 21-27 August.
The Principal of Holy Spirit Primary, Br Nicholas Harsas OAM, said his school has a long tradition of celebrating Book Week with a book parade in the school grounds, but a new approach was needed in this time of pandemic.
“So we came up with the idea of ‘Book Face’ where children choose their favourite book and that in turn becomes their face. They dress up or behave or pose in a way that looks like the rest of the book cover”, the veteran Principal and Patrician Brother explained.
From Pig the Pug and Thelma the Unicorn through to The Very Cranky Bear and The Very Hungry Caterpillar, the students have had loads of fun bringing their favourite book characters to life.
Br Nicholas said the approach had definitely encouraged more children towards regular reading with long term educational benefits.
“When the children see how much their peers are enjoying the activity, it creates another incentive to reading and the promotion and enjoyment of reading in this time of lockdown”, he said.
Br Nicholas said the Book Faces idea was one of many activities the school had been engaged in to help keep students in good spirits during the extended period of virtual learning.
“We also recently held a whole school hip-hop dance event on Zoom. We had about 370 participants across students and staff. So we’re trying to do events that really promote that sense of variety and continuity to keep the students engaged, so they’ll stay motivated and ready to return to on-campus learning when restrictions are eased”, he added.